Chitwan National Park is Nepal’s first national park established in 1973. The park, spread in a total area of 952 sq. km., is located in sub-tropical lowlands of inner Terai, ranging from Mahabharat foothills to Rapti River. The ecological features of the park include dense tall elephant grass, oxbow lakes, swampy marshes and riverine forests of Sal trees. The average temperature in the area is about 45 degree Celsius in Summer (May-July) and 25 degree during Autumn, Winter and Spring.
The Park is home to endangered Asian one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal tiger and Asian Elephants, spotted chittal, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, rhesus monkey, white stocking gaur (the world’s largest wild cattle) etc. Over 525 bird species have been recorded so far in the park which includes woodpeckers, hornbills, Bengal florican, and red-headed trogons. A breeding center for Gharial crocodiles and elephants has also been opened in the park.
Tharu are the indigenous inhabitants in and around Chitwan National Park. They are known as the ‘people of forest’ and they showcase cultural performances to visitors.
How to get there?
Chitwan is accessible from all the major cities in Nepal. Tourist buses leave for Chitwan from Kathmandu and Pokhara at 7 every morning along with regular public buses and mini vans throughout the day. It takes 7 hrs to reach Chitwan from Kathmandu by road and 5 hrs from Pokhara. There are also daily direct flights from Kathmandu and Pokhara to Chitwan which takes about 45 min and 30 min respectively. Daily public buses also operate between Chitwan and Sunauli along Nepal-India border that takes about 4 hrs.
Where to Stay?
There are no hotels inside Chitwan National Park anymore. Majority of the hotels are located in Sauraha that have ranges from cheaper to deluxe suite. You can also find luxurious hotels in nearby places such as Nawalparasi, Meghauli etc located in remote and serene environment, a perfect spot for wildlife viewing.
Things to do in Chitwan National Park
Activities in Chitwan National Park